Robin van Persie right to quit Arsenal says Manchester United team-mate Patrice Evra
The Dutchman scored against his former team at the weekend
Monday 29 April 2013
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra believes Robin van Persie's status as Barclays Premier League title winner proves he made the right choice to quit Arsenal for Old Trafford.
Having spent eight years in north London before switching to United last summer, Van Persie's affection for the Gunners runs deep.
The striker almost walked into the home dressing room following his arrival at the Emirates Stadium yesterday, opted not to celebrate the penalty equaliser and then went for a chat with his old team-mates after the 1-1 draw.
Evidently, the affection is not reciprocated by the Arsenal fans, who gave their former captain a torrid time.
Evra cannot understand why, given Van Persie did so much to advance the Gunners' cause during his time with the club, but he thinks winning the championship this year proves the 29-year-old has no need to reproach himself.
"He hasn't made the wrong choice," said Evra.
"It was a long time that he didn't win the league [at Arsenal]. He has come to Manchester United and won it.
"I still don't understand why the fans boo him. I am disappointed that the fans have quickly forgotten what he did for the club.
"I think he felt it as well."
Van Persie's goal took him within one of the 30 barrier, and in netting 25 in the Premier League the Dutchman has broken the record for most league goals in a debut campaign for United.
"He has a chance to reach 30," said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
"If he does that it justifies all our faith and hope in him."
It could be argued the move has worked out well for both parties, given United's success has not seen Arsenal collapse in the manner so many felt likely.
Indeed, as Chelsea and Tottenham still have to face each other and Arsenal's final three games are against teams who have either been relegated - QPR - or battling to avoid the drop - Wigan and Newcastle - they should preserve their long-held top-four status.
Although aggrieved United did not claim the victory he felt they deserved, Evra was impressed by the hosts' battling qualities.
"They were one of the most aggressive teams I have played against," said the France international.
"It was good to see Arsenal like that. They always get abuse about being a team with good football but not being aggressive enough. This time they were."
Evra was particularly annoyed at his failure to convert a second-half chance, which would have moved him on to five goals for the season, the same number as Shinji Kagawa.
He has three more opportunities though, starting against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday with further fixtures against Swansea and West Brom to come - all of which, Evra claims, are important to the Red Devils.
"A lot of people expect to see Manchester United not playing because we have already won the title," said Evra. "But this is not the mentality of Manchester United.
"We want to win every game, even pre-season or friendlies.
"If we lose at Arsenal, people won't say we lost because we have won the league. They would just say 'Manchester United lost'.
"People laugh when I say it was a big game but that is the Manchester United culture.
"Even if we finish the job and have already won the title, we always want to win."
United now have a week to prepare for Chelsea, which gives Nemanja Vidic and Danny Welbeck time to recover from the calf and knee problems which kept them out yesterday.
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